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Psychology terms


Social Cognition How we interpret, analyse, remember and use information to make judgments about others in different social situations
Person perception The mental processes we use to form impressions and draw conclusions about the personal characteristics of others
Halo effect Cognitive bias where the impression we form about one quality of a person influences our beliefs and expectations about other qualities of that person
Eye contact Eye contact shows interest & attention. The person is viewed as more likeable. Staring can be perceived negatively. Cultural differences important eg not staring in Asian cultures
Facial expressions A facial expression is one or more motions or positions of the muscles beneath the skin of the face. facial expressions are apart of the information we consider when forming a first impression.
Attribution Is the process by which people explain the causes of their own and other people’s behaviour using personal or situational reasons - while providing good explanations for behaviour, they are open to bias!
Personal attribution Is an explanation due to the characteristics of the person involved, such as their personality, ability, attitude, motivation, mood or effort.
Situational attribution is an explanation due to factors external to the person involved, such as the actions of another person, some aspect of the environment, the task, luck and fate.
Fundamental attribution error is the tendency to overestimate the influence of personal factors and underestimate the impact of situational factors on other people’s behaviour.
Individualist culture being an individual and independent is valued and encouraged
Collectivist culture achieving group goals is considered to be more important than the achievement of individual goals
Attitude Is an evaluation that someone makes about an object, person, group, event or issue.
Tri-component model of attitudes Tri-component (tripartite) model of attitudes. ABC of attitudes. Any attitude must have three related components: before it can be said that an attitude exists. In most cases these must be consistent. Affective – feelings – I love chocolate Behaviour
Affective component Feelings towards an object, person, group, event or issue. Based on a positive, negative or neutral judgement. Uses expressions like: I enjoy eating sushi, I hate rap music, I feel ill when I listen to Donald Trump talk about women.
Behavioural componet The way in which an attitude is expressed through our actions.
Cognitive component The beliefs that we have about an object, person, group, event or issue.
Strength of an attitude A strong attitude is an attitude that is usually thought about, well-known and easily accessible. The stronger the attitude, the more likely it is that it will be stable and consistent over time, be resistant to change, and influence behaviour.
Accessibility of an attitude Aronson found that attitudes that easily come to mind (thought about, well known and stored in memory ready for use) are stronger attitudes and better predictors of behaviour.
perceived control Is the belief an individual has that they are free to perform or not perform behaviour linked to an attitude and a belief that they can actually perform that behaviour
Stereotype A collection of beliefs that we have about a person or the people who belong to a certain group regardless of individual differences among members of the group. Eg: all Collingwood supporters are bogans.
In-group is the group that you belong to or identify with. We have no prejudice towards people in this group.
outgroup is a group you do not identify with or belong to. We often have prejudice against people belonging to out groups.
Blue eyes - brown eyes experiment Jane Eliot’s Blue eyes Brown eyes experiment shows ingroups, outgroups and the power of stereotypes.
Prejudice holding a negative attitude towards the member of a group based solely on their membership of that group.
Stereotyping The process of fitting, grouping or slotting people together based what we know about them.
old fashioned prejudice members of the majority group openly reject minority group members views towards the minority groups are obvious and recognisable to others eg: White vs black segregation US., name calling, abuse, discrimination, not acceptable.
modern prejudice more subtle, hidden, kept private and expressed in ways that are more likely to be accepted. eg: affirmative action is good to help disadvantage groups BUT may disadvantage members of my group.
discrimination positive or negative behaviour that is directed towards a social group and its members. When prejudice is expressed through behaviour
Indirect discrimination When a requirement, condition or practice that appears to be fair, in fact discriminates against people of a particular social group.
Direct discrimination Someone is treated less favourably than someone else who is of a different social group in the same or similar circumstances.
racism racism is a belief that a particular race or ethnicity is inferior or superior to others.
sexism the belief that the members of one sex are less intelligent, able, skilful, etc.
ageism prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age.
Social influence Refers to the effects of the presence or actions of others, real or imagined on the way people think, feel and behave. It can come from a person, group or institution, and can be positive (constructive) or negative (harmful).
Group Any collection of two or more people who interact with and influence one another and who share a common purpose.
Collective people in the same location engaged in a common activity
Status The importance of an individual’s position in the group as perceived by members of the group whether real or imagined.
Power An individual’s or group’s ability to control or influence the thoughts, feelings or behaviour of another person or group.
Social power use of power in a social interaction to control or in uence another person (or group)
Legitimate (sp) An individual’s status or position in a group, institution or society in general gives them the right (authority) to exercise power over those with a lower status or with less authority.
coercive (sp) Ability to give negative consequences or remove positive consequences in response to specific behaviour (teacher giving detention)
reward (sp) Ability to give positive consequences or remove negative consequences in response to specific behaviour (manager giving promotion)
informational (sp) Having resources or information that are useful and are not available elsewhere (someone who knows what, when, where etc)
Role A role is the behaviour adopted by an individual or assigned to them that influences the way in which they function or act in different situations and life in general.
Role expectations once a role is taken on, there is usually an expectation by other members of the group that the individual will behave in a way that is consistent with that role. This is a role expectation.
Obedience Obedience occurs when we follow the commands of someone with authority, or the rules or laws of our society.
Zimbardo's prison experiment Zimbardo wanted to find out the effects of roles, labels and social expectations of being either a prison guard or a prisoner. he set up a simulated prison environment in the basement of the Stanford University psychology building.
Milgrams study on obedience Milgram advertised for 40 male research participants between the ages of 20 and 50 years, offering to pay them US$4 for one hour of their time to participate in an experiment at Yale University in the state of Connecticut.
Factors affecting obedience Social proximity, group pressure and legitimacy of authority figures
social proximity  refers to the closeness between two or more people. This may include the physical distance between the people as well as the closeness of their relationship. 
legitimacy of authority figure An individual is also more likely to be obedient when the authority figure is perceived as being legitimate and having power. 
group pressue An individual is also more likely to be obedient where there is little or no group support for resisting the authority figure. 
Aschs experiment in conformity (group pressure) participant came into a room that contained six other people and an experimenter and sat at the end of a long table, in a chair that had been purposely left vacant.
Referent (sp) Individuals identify with or want to be like or liked by this person. (celebrity you want to be like)
Expert (sp) Having special knowledge and skills that are desirable or needed (teacher being knowledgable in their field)
Factors affecting confrmity group size, unanimity, Informational influence, normative influence, culture, social loafing, deindividuation
Group size (fac) The size of a group that is experimented on/tested
Unanimity (fac) agreement by majority of the population
Informational influence (fac) occurs when conformity results from a need for direction and information on how to respond in a specific situation.
Normative influence (fac) occurs when our response in a group situation is guided by one or more social norms.
Culture (fac) The culture of participants affecting the results
Social loafing (fac) refers to the tendency of an individual to make less effort when involved in a group activity than when working alone.
Deindividuation (fac) is the loss of individuality, or the sense of anonymity, that can occur in a group situation. Deindividuation is a psychological state and is believed to be an important factor in explaining the extreme behaviour of some people.
Anonymity in a group (fac) In groups, when people feel anonymous they can tend to care less for their actions, They may choose to conform to a group which is behaving in ways they otherwise would not.
Shift in attention (fac) When individuals are with others in a group, their attention is often focused on the activities of the group and events in the environment.
Pro-social behaviour refer to everyday acts of helping others, as well as helping that involves personal cost to the helper
Situational factors (psb) situational factors involve whether we notice the situation, whether we interpret the situation as one in which help is needed, and whether we are prepared to take responsibility for helping in that situation and consider actually doing something to help.
Noticing the situation (psb) Noticing an incident that is different or unusual and may involve someone in need of help is a necessary first step in making a helping response. Once the incident is noticed, the person must then interpret the situation as one in which help is required.
Interpreting the situation (psb) Many situations in which help may be required are ambiguous or unclear. Therefore, people cannot always be sure that a helping response is appropriate or required.
Taking responsibility (psb) Taking responsibility and intervening. you are unlikely to intervene and help unless you believe it is your responsibility to do so. we may leave the responsibility to help to them, even if we don’t interpret them as having the responsibility to help.
Bystander effect (psb) is the tendency for individuals to be less likely to help another person in need when other bystanders are present, or believed to be present, as compared to when they are alone.
Social factors social factors are the reasons we behave and/or act in a social environment. social norms, social responsibility norms, reciprocity norms.
Social norms are standards that govern what people should or should not do in different social situations. social norms are often not written down or explicitly stated, they are known ways of behaving in particular social groups or cultures, or society in general.
reciprocity norms prescribes that we should help others who help us. The reciprocity norm is based on the reciprocity principle, an unwritten rule that we should give what we receive or expect to receive.
social responsibility norm prescribes that we should help those who need help because it is our responsibility or duty to do so.
personal factors empathy, mood, competence
empathy (pf) is the ability to identify with and understand another person’s feelings or difficulties. Empathic people tend to feel the distress of others, feel concern for them, and can imagine what it must be like to be in need of help.
mood (pf) Commonsense suggests that we will be more likely to help when in a good mood and less likely to help when in a bad mood.
competence (pf) our actual or perceived ability to help can influence whether or not we help in a specific situation, as well as the type of help we may offer.
Diffusion of responsibility is the belief that, in a situation where help is required and others are present, one or more other people will or should take responsibility for helping.
audience inhibition audience inhibition is the presence of others at the scene provides an audience and this increases the chance of being embarrassed or feeling foolish. Consequently, these aspects of the situation can inhibit, or prevent, someone from helping.
Latane & Darley smoke filled room used 60 male university students as participants. All were asked to complete a questionnaire in a small room that had a one-way mirror for observation purposes. Each participant was either alone in the room or in the same room with two other people.
cost-benefit analysis involves an individual weighing up the personal and social costs of helping against the bene ts of helping
bullying occurs when an individual or group with more power repeatedly and intentionally causes hurt or harm to another person or group of people who feel helpless to respond.
physical (bullying) Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching and pushing or damaging property.
verbal (bullying) Verbal bullying includes name calling, insults, teasing, threatening, intimidating, homophobic or racist remarks, or verbal abuse.
covert (social bullying) is typically ‘hidden’, out of sight of, or unacknowledged and/ or unaddressed by adults. This type of bullying is designed to harm someone’s social reputation and/or cause humiliation. Social bullying includes lying and spreading rumours etc
cyberbullying is carried out using digital technologies, including hardware such as computers and smartphones, and software such as social media, instant messaging, texts, websites and other online platforms.
Latane & Darley smoke filled room continued Co 1: a person was in room alone Co 2: participant was in room together with two ppl who had been told not react when help was needed Co 3: three ppl were in room together and all three were true participants. C2 & 3 embarrassed when speaking on smoke
Aschs experiment in conformity continued experimenter then showed two cards to group. On one card was a single vertical line. On the second card were three vertical lines. The participant was asked to select the line from the second card that matched the length of the line on the first card.
Aschs experiment in conformity pt 3 participants were questioned later, participants who had conformed and agreed with answers the confederates gave said they were aware the responses and confederates’ were wrong but went along with group because they didn't want to spoil the results
Zimbardo's prison experiment pt 2 Zimbardo’s participant selection procedure involved placing an advertisement in the local newspaper inviting male volunteers for a study on prison life that would run for up to two weeks for the pay of US$15 per day.
Zimbardo's prison experiment pt 3 Some participants were made guards and others prisoners. As events unfolded, power, status and role expectations associated with being a guard or prisoner brought about unexpected changes in behaviour.
Milgrams study on obedience pt 2 He wanted to find out whether individuals would obey an authority figure who was instructing them to inflict pain on another person.
Milgrams study on obedience pt 3 confederate draw slips of paper to determine who will be the ‘teacher’ and who will be the ‘learner’. Again, unknown to you, the draw is rigged so that the participant (you) always becomes the teacher and the confederate is always the learner.
Milgrams study on obedience pt 4 The learner is taken to an adjoining room, strapped into a chair wired through the wall to an electric shock machine and has electrodes placed on their wrists. Tricked learner into thinking they were giving electric shock to test obedience.
Blue eyes - brown eyes experiment pt 2 The teacher made blue eyed people feel superior for a day, and pick on brown eye people, then the next day she made brown eye people feel superior over blue eyed people.
Sensation Is the process where our sensory organs detect stimuli from the environment and transmit information to the brain.
Stimuli External environmental information that provokes a physiological or psychological activity or response
Sensory receptors In sensory organs (ears, eyes, skins, nose & tongue) are specialised receptors that detect & respond to only that type of sensory information.
Receptive field The area of space where a receptor can respond to a stimulus.
Reception is the process of detecting and responding to incoming sensory information.
Transduction is the process by which the receptors change the energy of the detected sensory information into a form which can travel along neural pathways to the brain as action potentials.
Transmission is the process of sending the sensory information (as action potentials) to relevant areas of the brain via the thalamus
Perception Process where brain gives meaning (interprets) sensory information
Interpretation involves bringing together incoming sensory information and using existing knowledge to make sense of sensory input.
Taste receptors Detect chemical molecules that enable taste. Convert the sensory input into signals.
Taste buds On our tongues, located in papillae.
Papillae Small bumps that you can see and feel on the tongue, taste buds are here.
Taste pore connecting the surface of the tongue to the taste receptors within the taste buds.
Tastant Are dissolved chemical molecules that can be tasted.
Five tastes sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami
Created by: noahcrispin
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